The Difference Between Public, Closed and Secret Groups on Facebook

Facebook Group PrivacyGroups on Facebook allow for healthy discussions and shares amongst people with a common interest. Millions of Facebook users actively take part in group discussions. When creating a new group, Facebook offers 3 options to choose from – Public Group, Closed Group and Secret Group. If you’re wondering how these different group types differ, check out the detailed comparison below.

Groups are great for getting things done and staying in touch with just the people you want. Share photos and videos, have conversations, make plans and more.

Comparison  – Public Group vs Closed Group vs Secret Group on Facebook

The table below shows a quick overview of the difference between Public, Closed and Secret groups on Facebook. For further details, refer to the content below the table:

Basis Public Group Closed Group Secret Group
Find Group in Search Yes Yes No
View List of Members Everyone Everyone Members only
View Posts Everyone Members only Members only
Who can post or comment Members only Members only Members only
Joining Manual or added by another member Manual or added by another member Only added by another member

Public Group – Features & Who Should Use?

A public group is the most visible group option offered by Facebook. The public group comes in Facebook search, so anybody can find the group by its name. The group posts, comments as well as the list of members is available for everybody to see. That said, only members can write a new post or comment on existing posts.

Since posts in an open group can be viewed by everybody, only those people who are influenced or attracted by the existing posts will join the group. So, the admin of an open group can expect his group members to be more interested in the group’s content than all other group types where members join in before getting an idea of the type of content shared or discussed in the group.

Who Should Use? If there are open-ended discussions which are okay to be seen and read by everybody, then an open group is a good idea. Groups posting general information without much of exclusive content can keep the group privacy to public.

Closed Group – Features and Who Should Use?

A majority of the groups on facebook are closed. A closed group offers limited visibility to non-members. Anybody can find a closed group using Facebook search or by using the direct URL to the group. However, the posts are not visible to them. Non-members can only view the group’s description and the list of members.

Posts in a closed group are not visible to non-members. Hence, they do not get a complete idea about what type of discussions take place in the group. So, a closed group should have a suitable name and a proper description so that a new member gets a fair idea about the group before joining it.

Who should use? Discussions which are exclusive and should only be accessed by a limited number of users. Such as a group of a company’s employees.

Secret Group – Features and Who Should Use?

Secret groups are the most discrete. Nobody can find a secret group as it does not come in Facebook search results (except for members). Non-members cannot even find the group if they are provided with the direct URL. Since non-members cannot even find a secret group, new members can only be added by existing members (or admins).

These groups provide zero information to the public. A non-member wouldn’t even know that such a group exists on Facebook unless he/she gets added to the group. Hence, organic growth of secret groups is impossible.

Who should use? Groups with a limited audience who do not want new users to find and join the group.

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